Businesses offer myriad of themes

New event-planning companies flourish in Basra

BASRA, January 29 — Wedding planning is often a busy and stressful time for couples, full of details and associated costs. A slew of new businesses on 14 Temmuz Street in Basra are offering to take over those difficult tasks with wedding packages tailored to every couple’s theme, whether Eastern, Western, or Folkloric.

Services include music, with bands that specialize in entertainment for different types of special occasions, different styles of music, and both male and female performers.

Imad Mohammed, manager of Ali Al-Aboudi’s Office said events usually pause for three months during religious holidays, but otherwise services are offered year-round. “Prices for events vary based on the type of musical band and the nature of the celebration, whether public or private,” he said.

Mohammed added, “Prices for celebrations start from 400,000 dinars, reaching up to 750,000 dinars. If the event is outside Basra, it may go up to one and a half or two million dinars.”

Musician Dawood Salman shared his experience working with the wedding planning businesses.

“I work with two people who play the drum and tambourine, and we all work for an office that organizes events for us,” Salman said.

“Prices for ‘zaffa,’ or wedding processions, range between 125,000 and 175,000 dinars, based on time and location. We also accompany the groom to the bride’s house,” he added.

Musicians pay a cut of their fees to the offices, and despite increased demand, Salman said prices have remained static.